Things I'm currently working on!

1. Footwork. Serious lack of practice, so I've been going early to get a bit in before normal keiko.

Specifically, speed with out bouncing, hikitsuke (bring the rear foot up quickly), turning. My turning has become very sloppy!

I'm trying to turn and be ready to go straight into another attack. Usually practice this by doing renzoku men, turning so that you end up in "issokuoto no maai" and immediately cut again. I've been practicing this without an opponent. But it works beat with a partner to push you!

2. Kamae - posture

Akiyama Sensei has given me a new shape.

Keep the left leg extended with the knee straight. I normally have it slightly bent but he wants it almost locked.

Turn the hips up and back. So that the O-dare (large front piece of the waist protector) will sit straight down like this | rather than stick out \

This (he says) will make me able to strike from any position. previously my left leg being bent led me to bend back on it to avoid strikes. Do that once and the opponent will try a Nidan waza (two step attack) and your caught bent over and off balance.

He said I should keep it straight push forward forward forward and cut men or kote.

An exercise we do to practice debanna men: I step forward he retreats I step back and he advances in this moment the left leg is set and I (in theory lol) launch forward.

It works, and I've had some success with it in keiko. But I feel like it is too ridgid. Keeping the leg locked like that doesn't feel natural. Its great going forward but fighting against an opponent that likes to move around, I can't seem to move fast enough. Sensei is Sensei though so I'll try my best to make it work.